Compare Holmoecaust 2001 vs. Not Always Sonny 2013. Which season is the harder to endure? Which team would you say is performing better? (If you weren't around for the Holmoecaust, see this.)
Norcalnick: I find this year much harder to endure, although to be fair I was a junior in high school in 2001. But in 2001, Cal football had been bad for a decade, and awful for 5 years. Any hope, any interest, any amount of give-a-damn had been violently removed from the psyche of Cal fans long ago. And everybody knew that there would be a new head coach soon anyway, which is always nice to look forward to.
It's hard to say which team is performing better. The 2001 team actually had a pretty tough non-conference schedule as well, but I think the Pac-12 this year is tougher than the Pac-10 in 2001. If this team gets a 2nd win, then I think we can safely say they're better. And I'm pretty sure the 2001 team didn't deal with anywhere near the number of injuries this team did, for whatever that's worth.
atomsareenough: Well, to be fair, I wasn't really as much into football back then. I was a student at the time, so I went to 1 game (my first Cal game ever), realized immediately that we were absolutely awful, and didn't bother paying attention to our football team again until after I had graduated. The 2001 team just felt so absolutely hopeless, that even the sparse crowd in attendance at Memorial didn't even seem to care about what was happening on the field. The student section seemed more preoccupied with drinking and socializing than cheering. The lesson I took from it was, "oh, I guess we're not a football school". Seriously, that was my takeaway.
Anyway, this season is obviously more painful because I'm so much more engaged with our program now. That said, I feel like the extenuating circumstances are enough for me to not feel too badly about it. Between the injuries, the youth, the schedule, and the new system, I can at least tell myself that sure, we're taking our lumps now, but we'll be better for it down the line. Plus, there have been some small flashes of improvement here and there. At least, there had been until we started regressing. All in all, I guess my spirit is still intact, and I feel like things could be worse. We'll see how long that lasts.